[Homestead] East Wind Commune

Gene GeRue genegerue at ruralize.com
Tue Dec 4 09:17:14 EST 2007

On Dec 4, 2007, at 6:47 AM, Tim Oppenheim wrote:

> I was playing with Google Earth (and if you don't you should) and
> came across the East Wind Commune in Southern Missouri. Some of you
> old time hippies should know about it. What's the story?

East Wind is near Heartwood, well, about forty minutes away. I have  
been there several times. It is old enough that it is well  
established and settled down, having worked their way through the  
rough spots. Beautiful property; they own about a thousand acres.  
Lots of buildings. Unique concept: each couple/family has their own  
place but each individual also has a private room in one of the other  
homes, usually with a private entrance. They have a school and a  
large community garden.

East Wind leaders did a very smart thing years ago: they wrote a good  
business plan, borrowed a substantial chunk of money from our local  
bank, and over the years have developed a highly successful business  
making nut butters--something that makes them a good living. They  
have also made sandals and hammocks; I have a pair of their rope  
sandals, which are used during river floats as they are made of poly  
something that doesn't rot from being wet and is not slippery on rocks.

They are sensitive to the feelings of the greater community  
surrounding them. They keep a section of Highway 160 between  
Gainesville and West Plains free of trash. One of their members  
worked with my committee when we first started our county recycling  
program; I was the chairman; their representative, Alder, was very  

It is not for me to live that close to so many people but if it were  
I might well live there. The other strong factor is that they share  
all resources. It is my understanding that if you move there you give  
all your resources, money, car, tools, etc., to the community. I  
think there are about fifty people living there now. New members have  
the advantage that they are moving into a viable society supported by  
a well-established business.

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